The Long Shot: An American man winning the U.S. Open.
The Odds: John Isner (100/1), Jack Sock (200/1), Steve Johnson (200/1), Sam Querrey (200/1) and Taylor Fritz (300/1), via Paddy Power.
Why It Might Happen: Because it’s been way too long? The last American male to win a Grand Slam singles tennis tournament was Andy Roddick, who nabbed the U.S. Open in 2003 as a fresh-faced 21-year-old.
Currently the highest ranked American guy is John Isner, at No. 22 in the world. Isner has had a respectable career, he’s been ranked as high as No. 9, and he made the quarterfinals at the U.S. Open in 2011. But he’s never been able to break through with a win in a major, and I’m not betting on him doing it here (although I hope he does).
Querrey came up big in a huge moment at Wimbledon, and that proved to me that he has the right stuff to pull off a historic win in Flushing Meadows.
If I’m going to put my money on an American this year, it’s got to be Sam Querrey. Querrey, like Isner, has had a solid career but has never broken through. At 28, Querrey knows that his time has to be now, and he showed that at Wimbledon earlier this summer, beating Novak Djokovic en route to a quarterfinals appearance. Querrey came up big in a huge moment, and that proved to me that he has the right stuff to pull off a historic win in Flushing Meadows. Plus, I can bet $1 on him and if the historic win actually happens, I get $200, so I don’t see a reason not to.
The good news for American tennis fans is, the future does look fairly bright and there are some potential stars on the horizon. The U.S. has dominated the junior tennis world the last few years and it won’t be long before that success translates to the pros. Taylor Fritz, pictured above, is only 18 years old and, in his first year as a pro, has been playing great tennis. He won the junior U.S. Open last year and is currently ranked No. 54. Look out for him as well as Tommy Paul (who lost to Fritz in last year’s junior Open) and Noah Rubin (currently ranked No. 193).
The U.S. Open is an event that needs to get back to being dominated by Americans. Djokovic and Murray are great, but Sam Querrey will be holding that trophy two weeks from now.